SF Intl. Arts Festival "Mordake"
Shotwell Studios
San Francisco, CA
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SF Intl. Arts Festival "Mordake"
San Francisco International Arts Festival
The fifth annual San Francisco International Arts Festival (SFIAF) kicks off on May 21 and runs through June 8 with more than 40 performances and three major visual arts exhibits being presented by more than 25 San Francisco Arts organizations at multiple venues throughout the City. With its annual theme, "The Truth in Knowing/Now: Threads in Time, Place, Culture," SFIAF 2008 will include numerous World Premieres, US Debuts & International Collaborations featuring leading artists from the Bay Area performing and exhibiting with and alongside their international peers from around the world. This year's festival includes dance, music, opera, theatre and visual arts and events will take place at the Asian Art Museum, Chinese Cultural Center, CounterPULSE, Dance Mission Theater, Herbst Theatre, Union Square, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena Gardens and on numerous billboards in downtown San Francisco.

The world premiere of Bay Area composer and multi-instrumentalist Erling Wolds latest opera project, titled "Mordake" will open as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival (SFIAF) on Thursday May 22. "Mordake" is a new multi-disciplinary work that fuses opera, multi-media computer technology, poetry and electronic music. The work is being created specifically for renowned tenor John Duykers, who will be the only live performer visible to the audience. The creative team that will be responsible for putting "Mordake" on stage is led by Wold and interactive video designer Frieder Weiss from Nurnberg, Germany. The piece will be directed by Melissa Weaver and poet Douglas Kearney will create the libretto.

"Mordake" tells of the difficulties of integrating the diverse aspects of ourselves: male and female, the public self and its shadow; and the destruction brought about when we resist this union. The tale, from a book of medical curiosities of the nineteenth century, is the strange case of Edward Mordake and his devil twin  a man tormented by a womans voice coming from a face on the back of his head. The voice taunts him and reveals to him his true nature but, unable to see this, and unable to integrate the masculine and feminine aspects of his personality, Mordake ultimately destroys himself and his family. Although the story takes place in the nineteenth century, it is a metaphor for today, the uneasy unity of our culture, strengthened and troubled in equal amounts by its diversity.

Even though there is only one performer on stage, this lone performer is extended and enhanced visually and aurally through a variety of interactive video and audio techniques, and there will be prolific use of processing, electronics and synthesis effects. The video effects are quite dazzling, putting the audience in a world with the performer, allowing the performer to manipulate the space, as well as to exist in many spaces that would be unrealizable in a traditional theatrical set.

The performances of "Mordake" at SFIAF are presented by Erling Wold's Fabrications, Footloose presents at Shotwell Studios and SFIAF.


Shotwell Studios
3252-A 19th Street (@ Shotwell)
San Francisco, CA 94110
United States



Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No